Indian taxi driver in Australia stabbed in the lung

The December incident took place after the victim had handed over his night's taking in the armed hold-up, a media report said on Thursday. Police initially believed that Ravinder Singh, who was viciously stabbed in the lung,  was the victim of a road-rage incident, The Age reported.

Detective Sergeant Stuart Bailey said when they were able to interview Ravinder Singh, they established that his car had been rammed. When he got out to remonstrate, the passenger of the other car pulled on a balaclava and demanded money from him. The assault took place at 1.50 am on Dec 9 in Collier Street, Brunswick, when the Indian taxi driver pulled up outside his fiancee's flat for his evening meal.

Bailey said he did not believe it was a racist attack. "I think this is a random attack on a taxi driver who is going to be a cash carrier," he was quoted as saying. Ravinder Singh had the presence of mind to note the number plate of the attacker's car and police were able to trace it to a stolen blue Holden Commodore dumped in a carpark in Brunswick shortly after the attack. New Delhi warned on Wednesday that people-to-people ties with Australia may be "adversely affected" if the violence against Indians in Australia did not halt now.

Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said that he was "deeply anguished" over the assault on an Indian taxi driver in Melbourne's northern parts on Saturday. "Unless there is immediate stop to the attacks, our people-to-people level exchanges, which include the area of education and tourism, will get adversely affected," the minister said in New Delhi. He said the issue had been taken up by the Indian mission in Canberra with Australian authorities.

Krishna urged Australia to bring the attackers to book and to put in "effective security measures" that will increase the sense of well-being among Indians in that country. There has been a string of attacks on Indians in Australia with Indian taxi drivers being targeted in some of the recent incidents. Three Indian taxi drivers were attacked in different Australian cities January 16. While a 25-year-old Indian taxi driver was assaulted in Melbourne, two Indian taxi drivers, one of whom was a student, were attacked in Australia's Ballarat city.

The attacks came a day after a man was sentenced to three months in jail for assaulting and threatening to kill another Indian taxi driver in Melbourne. The spate of attacks on Indians in Australia has caused an outcry in India. Two of the vicious attacks proved fatal. While Ranjodh Singh's body was found December 29, another Indian, Nitin Garg, was fatally stabbed in Melbourne January 2. An Indian was set on fire in Melbourne January 9 while another Indian was assaulted at Coogee beach in Sydney on January 11.

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